If you’re like most, probably not as well as you could or should be. Were you also aware that when others search for you, your Linkedin profile is one of the frequent entries that shows up?
How are yours showing up? Do they reflect the image you want to convey? I can’t tell you how many times individuals have shared with me the fact that they were contacted because someone found them through Linkedin. So, doesn’t it make sense to position yourself to be found and convey the right message/brand? In answer to that, one of the most powerful things you can do is, have a strong Linkedin profile that attracts others to you and shows what you can do for them. Let’s get into some details.
The Two Primary Purposes of Linkedin:
Hint, both have to do with being found on the Internet…
- As your 24/7 on-line resume but, unlike the “old” resume format, where it’s all about you and your accomplishments, in today’s hyper competitive and information overflow Internet world, your “resume” needs to connect and reflect what you can do for others – NOW, not yesterday.
- Linkedin is probably one of the most powerful networking tools to be found. Whether searching for new team members or, contacting someone within a group or company, Linkedin has become the networking tool of professionals.
Using Linkedin to Be Found:
In this article we’ll cover the first and probably most important use of Linkedin. Visitors arriving on your Linkedin page are there because they want to learn more about you; Who you are? – What you offer? – What are others saying about you and – Are you someone they may want to connect with? Remember, this is your first intro to someone else and first impressions count. Right? Moreover, with the ability to add social proof such as endorsements and recommendations in your Linkedin profile, you’re offering up social proof as to who you are.
With that in mind, your profile is your 24/7 resume/bio and is the first point of contact for others searching for you online. In fact, do a search right now on your name and see what comes up? Then search Andre Kasberger and see what comes up. Linkedin!
With that being said, setting up your profile should be your number one priority. Although there’s plenty of information such as “How Tos” on YouTube, PDFs and sites, the key is to do it right. Although you’ll find that most of the information on the Internet is useful, it’s primarily plain vanilla, just like everyone else’s. Not that the information out there is bad but, will it get you found and if so, how are you showing up? The “old” resume, bio format of; “This is who I’m, what I’ve accomplished and what I can do for you”, is dead. In today’s world it’s all about connecting with your audience, solving their problems and not talking about something you’ve done in the past.
Setting Up Your Linkedin Profile:
Let’s look at that a bit closer look. First and most important, your profile needs to be end user (your viewers) focused, whether it’s a client, potential customer or employer. Figure out how you can help “them”; What problems of theirs are you solving? – What results can you help them achieve? Following are some of the key pointers:
- Have your profile photo professionally done and have it reflect you in the setting you’d want to meet your visitor in. If you’re a consultant, how would you dress for that? If you’re an artist and met a client face-to-face, how would you want others to see you? If you’re a job seeker, how would you expect to dress for that position?
- The next most important point is your headline. Make it benefit oriented. Show what you can do to help “them”. It’s all about building credibility and connecting. Others primarily care what you can do for them. The old WII-FM. If you’re an authority, display it. Reflect what you want to be found for; e.g. ”Your Sarasota Real Estate Expert”.
- Customize your Linkedin URL (Linkedin.com/in/23574736000 – to – Linkedin.com/in/your name or what you want to be found for). I like the idea of using your name.
- Your summary, this is the section that frequently comes across as a resume – boring!!!!!!! This is where you let your visitor know what’s in it for them should they decide to engage you.
Your Profile Should Be Easy To Scan:
From a format standpoint, this section needs to be scannable by the reader. Because of all the information available to us today, we tend to scan for what we’re are looking for. Don’t expect people to hunt for the point you want to bring across. A great example is Dan Sherman’s Linkedin profile. More on that below.
The summary should be to the point, easy to scan so that the viewer gets the idea pretty quickly as to how you can benefit them. Are worth connecting with? Here you’d also want to include endorsements and don’t forget to include your call to action: your email address and Phone number.
- Work Experience, in this section it’s important to list the positions, jobs and experiences that have helped you along the journey you’re on. You want to describe the path that’s taken you to where you are today. Be sure to include volunteer positions, showing them that you’re also giving back and not just taking.
- You do want to add sections that can make you stand-out, such as honors, awards, patents, languages and certifications.
- Recommendations you’ve received from others that have worked with you, provide the ever important social proof, needed in today’s hyper competitive and “noisy” environment.
For Further Details and Resources:
This should give you a good idea on where to start and how to go about setting up your profile. As mentioned earlier, the other key function Linkedin plays is connecting and networking, such as finding and connecting with key contacts in your industry. Linkedin can be a very powerful tool for not only being found but also, to network and reach others of consequence.
For more on that and further details I’d recommend getting Dan Sherman’s book. Here’s the link to it on Amazon: “Maximum Success With Linkedin”.